'Kahlon hasn't even seen the bill yet'

Naftali Bennett blasts Kahlon's announcement that he will oppose attempts at judicial reform.

Tzvi Lev ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Hezki Baruch

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) responded Sunday to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's (Kulanu) announcement that he opposes Bennett's attempt to advance legislation enabling the Knesset to bypass Supreme Court decisions that nullify Knesset laws.

"First of all, Kahlon hasn't seen the law yet. We will present it to the party chiefs on Tuesday," Bennett told Reshet Bet.

"Second, each party sets goals for itself before the next Knesset session, and this is good for all of us. The reason why the Supreme Court is rapidly losing the public's trust is because they're constantly striking down laws, which doesn't happen anywhere else in the world," said Bennett.

"The public is saying we chose the government to rule, not the Supreme Court. Yes, the Supreme Court can nullify laws in extreme situations, but they have gone overboard."

Bennett remained optimistic that he could sway Kahlon to support the law.

"I am convinced that once we sit with Minister Kahlon and his people, he will support the essence of the bill."

Bennett criticized Netanyahu for granting Kahlon veto power over legislation that would weaken the Supreme Court as part of the coalition agreement. "It was a mistake by the prime minister to give any [coalition] partner veto powers that later paralyze our ability to take certain steps" Bennett contended.

Last week, Kahlon came out against Bennett and Shaked's attempts at judicial reform, telling Radio 101.5 on Wednesday that their proposal would "weaken democracy".

"I don't want to live in a country which does not allow judicial criticism, where people disappear overnight. No one wants to live in such a country. But does that mean I love the Supreme Court's recent rulings? The answer is no. If we need to, we can fix this. But we shouldn't destroy [the Supreme Court]" Kahlon said.

Kahlon's support is crucial for Bennett and Shaked's proposals to pass. Kahlon's Kulanu faction holds a sizable bloc of ten Knesset seats, and he wields veto power over all legislation that would change the Supreme Court's status.

Under the proposed law now being finalized by Bennett and Shaked, the Knesset would add a new Basic Law on legislation, joining existing Basic Laws covering the Knesset, the judiciary, the government, and the presidency.

The new Basic Law would limit the court’s ability to nullify Knesset law to specifically delineated situations. In addition, the new Basic Law would clarify the process for establishing future Basic Laws, and explicitly prohibit the judiciary from nullifying any Basic Law.